“50 Jargon terms used in the Food & Beverage Department”

Stop worrying and start learning the terms used in the F&B department; these 50 quick fix explanations will help you!

In the hospitality industry, it can be overwhelming when everyone seems to be familiar with the jargon, except you. Even as you gain experience, you often encounter new terms and acronyms that could confuse you.

But we have a solution for you. Here, we offer a comprehensive dictionary with 50 essential terms explained in a simple, non-technical manner.

Words by
Storm CostaBir


Reading Time
04 min read

1. À La Carte
  1. A menu style where each dish is priced separately, allowing guests to order individual items rather than a pre-set meal
2. Accompaniments
  • Sauces/dips served with the starters/main course
3. Al Dente
  1. An Italian term used to describe pasta or vegetables that are cooked to be firm to the bite
4. Amuse Bouche
  • A small, bite-sized appetizer or palate cleanser served before the main course to stimulate the appetite
5. Appetizer
  1. Small snack before the meal
6. Back Of House
  • The area in a restaurant or kitchen where food is prepared and cooking operations take place, typically not visible to guests
7. Bain Marie
  1. A water bath used to gently heat or keep delicate foods such as custards or sauces warm
8. Banquet
  • A large, formal meal or event, often held for special occasions or corporate gatherings, featuring a predetermined menu
9. BOT
  1. Bar Order Ticket
10. Busboy
  • A person who helps out in a restaurant specially clearing dishes
11. Canapé
  1. A small, decorative piece of bread or a cracker topped with various savory ingredients, often served as an appetizer
12 . Caramelization
  • The process of heating sugar until it melts and turns into a golden brown caramel with a rich flavor
13. Chef's Table
  1. A table located in or near the kitchen where guests can enjoy a special dining experience and interact with the chef
14. Clear
  • Remove finished/unused items including crockery/cutlery from the table
15. Condiments
  1. Sauces that are added for flavoring
16. Corkage Fee
  • A fee charged by a restaurant for serving wine brought in by the guest, usually to cover the cost of providing glassware and service
17. Cover
  1. A set of Crockery/Cutlery/Glassware/Linen placed on a table for guests
18. Croutons
  • Crispy cubes of bread
19. Decanter
  1. Ornamental (nowadays plain) glass bottle, for holding and serving red wine. Nowadays, it is often used to serve mixers like soda, Coke etc
20. Dégustation
  • A tasting of multiple dishes or wines, often in a specific order, to experience and evaluate flavors and quality
21. Demi Tasse
  1. A small cup used for serving strong black coffee, typically after a meal
22. Demi Glace
  • A rich, concentrated brown sauce made by reducing and thickening a combination of veal or beef stock and espagnole sauce
23. Éclair
  1. A long, thin pastry filled with cream and topped with icing or ganache
24. FIFO
  • An acronym for "First In, First Out," a food storage and rotation system that ensures older items are used or sold before newer ones
25. Flatware
  1. Utensils such as forks, knives and spoons used for eating and serving food
26. Front Of House
  • The area in a restaurant or hotel that is accessible to guests, including the dining room, reception, and service stations
27. Garnish
  1. Food that is added to decorate a dish
28. Gueridon Trolley
  • A trolley used in F&B Service on which the food can be cooked, finished, or presented to the guest at the table
29. Happy Hour
  1. Short duration of time when alcoholic drinks are served at a discounted rate
30. Hors d'oeuvre
  • Small, bite-sized appetizers served before a meal or at cocktail parties
31. Jus
  1. Juices released during roasting meats which is then collected and served with the dish
32. KOT
  • Kitchen Order Ticket
33. Mise en Place
  1. The preparation and arrangement of all ingredients, equipment, and tools needed before starting the cooking process
34. Mise en Scene
  • Preparing the environment of the restaurant to make it clean, comfortable, safe and hygienic
35. NC - No Charge or FOC - Free Of Charge
  1. F&B served to VIPs (Very Important Persons) or CIPs (Commercially Important Persons) 
36. Pax
  • Short for number of guests at a table or for a banquet
37. Plating
  1. The art of arranging and presenting food on a plate, considering aesthetics, balance, and portion sizes
38. POS (Point Of Sale)
  • POS computer is used for sales transactions, reports, and inventory control
39. Ramekin
  1. A small, individual serving dish, often used for baking and serving individual portions of desserts or savory dishes
40. Seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, today used loosely to cover mustard and herbs, added to food
41. Section
  1. A set of tables or an area allotted to a server in a restaurant
42. Shot
  • Alcohol served in a small glass
43. Sommelier
  1. A wine expert responsible for curating the wine list, recommending pairings, and assisting guests with wine selections
44. Straight Up
  • Alcoholic drink without any ice or a mix, also referred to as ‘On The Rocks’
45. Table d'hôte
  1. A French phrase that means "the host's table". Used to define a meal featuring a set menu at a fixed price
46. Tapenade
  • A flavorful paste made from olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil, often used as a spread or condiment
47. Tasting Notes
  1. Detailed descriptions of the flavors, aromas, and characteristics of a specific food or beverage, often used in wine or coffee tasting
48. Umami
  • One of the five basic tastes, often described as savory or meaty, adding depth and richness to dishes
49. Upselling
  1. The practice of suggesting and promoting additional or higher priced items to customers to increase sales, such as recommending a premium wine
50. Vegan
  • A strict vegetarian who eats/uses no animal products

In closing, by familiarizing yourself with the 50 jargon terms we've discussed in this blog, you've gained a valuable set of tools for navigating the food and beverage department. We hope this knowledge will boost your confidence and improve your communication with colleagues, clients and customers.